All of us who have owned a dog know what it’s like to come inside after a day at work and find the couch soiled, or a suspicious smell emenating from the bathroom. Mistakes happen, and no pup is perfect, but with our guide we’ll help you navigate the first few months of co-habitation and get those potty-training routine down to a tee. We’ll also talk you through breeds that are easier to train than others, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the Web.

How to potty train a dog

Wondering how to potty train your dog? You’ve come to the right place. Here are a few key points to bear in mind:

  1. Take your pup outside regularly, especially after they’ve eaten and consumed water. Puppies don’t have very big bladders. At one month, they can hold it in for an hour. At two months, two hours. At three months, three hours – and so on.
  2. When going to the toilet, direct them to the same spot outside every time
  3. Give your pup a prize every time they successfully relieve themselves outside. Do it just after they’ve finished their business, and not when they’re back in the house. You don’t want to create confusion.
  4. Make sure they’ve finished before you give them a reward. Puppies can sometimes appear to have finished, only to get distracted by your praise. Then, once they’re inside, they need to go again.
  5. Put them on a regular feeding schedule so that they know when they’re going to eat – and you know when they’re likely to need the toilet.
  6. Pick up their water bowl a couple of hours before bed and put it somewhere safe to stop them from drinking too much too late (only to need the toilet in the night).

Consistency and repetition are key. Your pup wont necessarily get it right every time, but he’ll have a better chance if you’re calm, exhibiting control and keeping instructions simple. At all costs, resist losing your temper with your pup. Encouragement should be the order of the day – not fear.

How long does it take to potty train a puppy?

It should take between 4-8 weeks to have your dog completely immersed in the new routine. Keep a schedule in place, keep mealtimes consistent, and use praise – rather than anger – to reward successful outings outside.

How to potty train an older dog

It can be frustrating to own an older dog who isn’t housetrained. That said, it isn’t the end of the world. Usually it takes two or three weeks to potty train an older dog. Remember to reinforce good behaviors with treats and stick to a schedule. Before long, he’ll be at the door waiting to go outside to do his business.

Best dog breeds to potty train

The best dogs to potty train are:  

  1. Shiba Inu. Shibas are like cats. They’re neat freaks who want to be outdoors to do their business. Little training necessary.
  2. Bichon Frise. These dogs are very clean and don’t like to soil their sleeping space; thus, they’ll take to the outdoors in no time at all.
  3. Miniature Schnauzer. The Schnauzer is a fast learner but sensitive to criticism, so take a reassuring approach to training.
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